Posts Tagged ‘mouse’

From the Editor’s Perch…

July 21, 2013

Editor:  Certainly there is a lot more that could be said, but sometimes I just get the urge to whine.


Why Being Creative May Not Serve You Well


In a cartoon by playwright/cartoonist Mark Krause ( ) a practical character asks the ‘creative’ playwright character why they don’t bring all the creativity they use in their playwrighting to advance their life, and to make money?

Indeed!  Why isn’t every poor artist using their superior creativity to better their lot?

Well, with age I’ve learned that there are often, if not ‘good’ reasons for things being as they are, there are at least significant reasons for things as they are.

Usually, the urging to be creative comes from the media gurus and not our workplace.  In fact, it seems the media gurus are pitching their advice as a corrective to the workplace, to fight ‘business as usual’.  Just as the Lord, in driving Jonah onto the boat, prevented fishing as usual.


Creative people are seen as a Jonah to practical endeavor – that is, making money.


Well, gaze across an artist’s life and maybe get an inkling.

The word ‘success’ is derived from root words which mean outcome or result.  Most people are practical and want results.  They seek an outcome.  Artists generally want an epiphany.

I remember watching the Olympics one year and listening to the story of a swimmer who missed being on the past Olympic team by four tenths of a second.  So he trained for another four years shaving off those four tenths of a second and made his Olympic team.  His feat was celebrated world-wide.  This is how practical people are.  This is how they think.  This is what they admire.  A great compliment among practical people is to be called a ‘machine’.  In David Mamet’s play, Glengarry Glenn Ross, Shelly, the Machine, Levine is the top salesman.  Nothing stops his production.  Shelly Levine is successful.  Success is the practical person’s epiphany.


For all of the contracts, legalisms and paperwork involved, the basis for nearly all living is trust.

We trust that the sun will come up tomorrow.  We trust that the money we have saved will be there tomorrow.  We trust that our husband/wife will be there tomorrow.  We trust that we will be here tomorrow.  We trust that we’ve learned enough to try what we attempt.  We trust our family.  We trust our friends.  And trust is not established immediately.  Trust is a commodity earned over time through repetitive, consistent behavior.  A good worker earns our trust.  A good dog earns our trust.  A good car earns our trust.  A tried and true method gains our trust. Good artists work repetitively and consistently, but their behavior is anything but.  And whereas they might be honest as the day is long, their behavior and speech and actions are often unpredictable.  Even the quality of their output is unpredictable.  Artists generate distrust.


Artists often make the mistake of thinking that once they are successful, they will be respected by their practical relations, friends and acquaintances; as they imagine that success must be the coin of the realm for practical people.  But that’s not quite it.  According to Wikipedia, It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make our first impression…”  Then, of course it only takes another one-tenth of a second for us to form our second impression, and so forth…   Hence, the birth of the ‘elevator pitch’.  That is, it has been said that in the business world, in order to attract a person’s attention and backing, you must be able to condense who you are and what it is you do (and include direct benefits to them!) into a pitch that you can give your fellow passenger in the time it takes an elevator to travel from the lobby to whatever floor your acquaintance is headed.  Now imagine an artist delivering such a pitch.  Does building security enter the picture?

Even quite successful creative types have harbored this dream of achieving general acceptance and respect and have been dismayed.  Saul Bellow watched his sister sleep through his Nobel speech.  The great American poet Wallace Stevens hid his poet’s identity throughout his career as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Conneticut.  Blind Lemon Jefferson froze to death on the streets of Chicago.  “Douglas Engelbart set the computer world on fire in December 1968.  Standing in a San Francisco conference hall filled with the nation’s top computer experts…  Engelbart demonstrated such innovations as word processing, video conferencing, and desktop windows – 13 years before the debut of the first IBM personal computer.  He also showed how a mouse, which he’d invented four years earlier, could be used to control a computer.  … In one hour, he defined the era of modern computing.” (“The Week” 7.19.13)   “He never became rich or a household name… and in later years struggled to get funding for his research.”

Artists do not reach unknown ends by using trusted routes.  Artists run on faithArtists like trying things.  Practical people like succeeding at things more.  Practical people try things when the method tried has been shown to work.  Artists evade this dictum because where you go determines where you end up, and artists are “epiphany junkies”.  They want to go somewhere new.

The bad news is that success is payment for consistent, bankable results.  So, a livelihood, comraderie and respect are often part of the artist’s elusive dream.  Creativity will probably always have an air of desperation about it.  And people will probably always shun the creative individual.


Photos taken  from Google Image

From the Editor’s Perch

June 7, 2013
Are you going to "stop my suffering?"

Are you going to “stop my suffering?”

Mercy Killing


My friend and I, whose homes are both plagued with pests, got to discussing what to do with a mouse, still alive, which was caught in a trap.  I’d said that I took them outside and smacked them real hard in the head with a brick or a rock.  I told him I imagined it would be like an Act of God, like one of us being hit by a meteor  “…large as a house!” (with suitable arm flourish),  I added.  My friend shuddered a bit.


So I asked him what he had done with the mice he’d caught but not yet killed.  He looked a bit troubled by the recollection.  Apparently it was because it hadn’t gone particularly well.


He said that first he’d tried gassing the thing in the barbeque, which hadn’t worked.  So then he decided to shoot it with a rifle.  First he hung it on a board in his shed placing some thick lumber ends behind it.  “But it’s hard to hit,” he added, since he’d had to stand some distance away.   I asked him where he’d shot the mouse.  “In the mid-section,” he noted.  “It’s hard to hit!”  He said again.


I imagined my friend trying to explain to a neighbor passing by what he was doing, and rocked with laughter.


“No one passes by out there,” he replied.



All of this got me to thinking that this would make an interesting blog post.  But what would still others do, I thought?  So I queried people on my Facebook page, “If you found a mouse still wriggling in your trap, what have you done with it?”


Two guys said that they’d feed it to their cat (and save money).  A woman replied that she’d flee screaming.  One guy left it outside in the trap and forgot it.  When he next happened on the trap, the mouse was gone.  Another woman found a raccoon a neighbor had caught in a ‘humane’ trap – and released it.  “The neighbor was not happy,” she said.


I decided to Google to determine the broader public opinion on this matter.    And here is some of what I found:


Dog hit by car with crushed hindquarters:


“Poor thing. I would call Animal control & tell them its an emergency. Maybe they will send someone right out. Hard to tell with our government agencies.”


“.if you have a gun, kill it, one shot behind the ear, if not, run it over again, don’t let it suffer.”


“Maybe take it to a vet? I wouldn’t though, it sounds like the dog is in a lot of pain. Maybe borrow a gun from a neighbor or get him to do it.”



Some people leapt right into a moralizing posture:

How do you put a mouse out of its misery quickly?

My mouse is sick and needs help moving on to the next life.


“I think the one who needs help here may be you. It is not your decision to make as to whether or not it is time for your pet to die.You are not a vet. If your pet is sick, take it to the vet. If you can’t afford to take it to the vet, take it to a shelter and don’t get pets again until you can afford their care. It is animal cruelty to try and kill your pet. You could be doing it when there is a chance it could get better. You could do it improperly and cause more suffering for the animal. Leave the mouse alone and if it’s time for it to die, it won’t need any help from you.”


Some people have gotten themselves into a hellofa mess:

Can you get a mouse off of a glue trap without injuring or killing it?

“You can dissolve the glue. Wearing gloves, add vegetable oil to dissolve the glue and, with a pencil, push the mouse off.”


“put it in a shallow pool of water, not too deep so it doesn’t drown, and see if the glue dissolves or loosens. maybe that could make it easier to get it off, and wear gloves.“


“Yes, if you have access to a beard trimmer you can shave it out of the glue trap. Just make sure your rabies shot is up to date.”



Some people expect a lot:

What is the most humane way to put a small wild animal out of its misery?

I mean for example injured mice and things. Sometimes my cats catch mice inside my house and I hate to watch them torture them to death.


Best Answer Chosen by Voters:

“The problem is with your cat.
Either you train your cat to kill the mice quickly , or just get rid of it.
Why not try to teach your cat to be nicer to your cute little mice?
Maybe if you got a vegetarian cat, it wouldn’t try to eat the mice.”


Some ring with certainty and authority:

Q: My mouse no longer has quality of life. How should my mouse be euthanized?
A:The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose. This can only be done at a vet’s. There is no humane way to euthanize a mouse at home. Asphyxiation by carbon dioxide, by drowning, or in a plastic bag; freezing, cervical dislocation, or feeding to another animal are all incredibly cruel and inhumane. The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose.”



Others sympathize and offer some simple tactics:

“I think wringing its neck would be best: However, its hard to explain how to quickly and efficiently do this……google how to wring a chickens neck and you will see what i mean.
Or just give them a whack on the back of the head, its how many mousetraps work:

Kudos for having the balls to do it: its a kindness.”


“when i had pet mice and they were sick and about to die we would put them in the freezer. it is really sad, but we asked the people at the pet store and that’s what they said to do.”


“simplest and most ethical way is a bullet to the head, if you havent got a gun then a hard quick strike with a blunt object also to the head.”


And finally…


“Do it quickly with a shoe.”

Photo pulled from Google Images

Seattle Celebrity News!

October 12, 2010

Editor’s note:  WARNING:  This post is rated R for graphic violence!


A home invasion was halted in one of the palatial homes in the celebrity enclaves in the foothills of the Washington Cascades Monday, October 11th.  Crime Scene Investigators now place the time as “sometime in the morning hours”.  The perpetrator apparently entered the home by insinuating themselves between the water pipe and the wall flange of the upstairs master bath.  Investigators have preliminarily classified the altercation as “self-defense”.  When questioned further by our reporters – in light of the massive amount of blood found at the scene – the local playwright/director/actor would only say:  “I was defending my home!  I was merely defending my home!” 

The body has been removed to the Woodinville Sanitation Station for further examination, and disposal.  In light of the fact that the body was found in such close proximity to the upstairs bedroom, and that the woman of the home was apparently “out of town” at the time, authorities  would not comment further in light of the ongoing investigation and discouraged further speculation.

Initially, the family dog was first on the Scene.

  Photo by Carl Nelson

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